A special ‘speed dating’ session held during the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) Annual Forum in Mombasa, Kenya, has brought scientists and journalists closer together with a view to greater dissemination of research stories.
SciDev.Net jointly organised the ‘speed dating session’ with the National Research Fund (NRF) Kenya. The aim of the session was to help scientists make useful connections with journalists who may report their research findings in the online, print, or broadcast media. It also aimed at helping journalists to make contacts with researchers they may need to contact when reporting science stories.
The process works by the scientists and journalists spending five minutes in each other’s company. After introductions are made and contact details exchanged, the journalists ask three questions: What is your most recent research? What was your most important finding? What are the implications of that finding to society?
Where there are no findings yet, the researchers are asked what how they expect their research to benefit society.
Dr Charles Wendo, SciDev.Net’s training coordinator, who facilitated the ‘speed dating’ session, said, “The session is always an exciting and fruitful event. It brings together the two groups to meet, greet and talk about research findings. It’s a win-win because both researchers and journalists come out of it feeling they have made useful connections.”
Finyange Pole, from the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), said, “I’ve found this interaction very interesting and useful. At times we look for journalists and we don’t get them. This event has made it easy for us. Now I know how to get them. We hope with the contacts we’ve made; we’ll get in touch with one another.”
Karim Rajan, a journalist with Nation Media Group, said, “I was so impressed when the researcher told me about a dumping site and that we can use the garbage to generate power.”
At the SGCI Annual Forum, Dr Wendo also delivered a science communication workshop on the topic “Harnessing the power of storytelling to enhance dissemination and research uptake of public funded research.”
The workshop was presented at the Academic Symposium as part of a session exploring training for researchers funded by the SGCI. It was moderated by Dr Prudence Makhura, Director for Overseas Collaborative Grants and Initiatives at the National Research Foundation, South Africa.
Since its inception in 2018 at the Next Einstein Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, SciDev.Net’s Script has provided training to nearly 9,000 people either directly in person or online.
SciDev.Net is the world’s leading source of reliable and authoritative news, views and analysis about science and technology for global development.
Our Mission is to use independent journalism to help individuals and organisations apply science to decision-making in order to drive equitable, sustainable development and poverty reduction. SciDev.Net is part of CAB International (CABI) – a not-for-profit organisation that improves people’s lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.
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Script is SciDev.Net’s science communication training programme.
Script provides a number of free training and networking resources for journalists, scientists and anyone who wants to communicate science in an engaging and accurate way. As well as in-depth bespoke training.
Find out more about Script training by SciDev.Net – including courses, guides, news, and bespoke training from scripttraining.net
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